The official said the four police personnel were killed when LWEs opened fire on a police patrol van. Another police personnel, who was part of the patrol party, escaped the attack.
Ahead of the first phase of polls for Jharkhand assembly on November 30 left wing extremists killed four state police personnel in Latehar district and gunned down two persons, including a local BJP leader in Palamau district, police said on Saturday. The rebels also burnt down two earthmoving machines in Lohardaga district. All the three districts are set to go to polls in the first phase on November 30.
A police official said the ambush on police personnel took place on Friday night at Lukiatand village under Chandwa police station. The official said the four police personnel were killed when LWEs opened fire on a police patrol van. Another police personnel, who was part of the patrol party, escaped the attack. It took place at a time when the state is in the midst of high voltage campaigning for the upcoming five-phase assembly polls in the state.
The killed have been identified as ASI Sukra Oraon and home guards Sikander Singh, Jamuna Prasad and Sambhu Prasad, he said. Deputy Inspector General of Police of Palamau Range Amol Venukant Homkar said that 45-year-old Mohan Gupta, the BJP leader died on the spot at Pipra Bazaar after being shot at by the red rebels on Saturday.
The other person, who was accompanying Gupta, succumbed to bullet injuries during treatment at the hospital, he said adding two other persons who were with them were seriously injured in the shoot out. The DIG said CPI(Maoists) have claimed responsibility of the incident by leaving a leaflet at the spot.
Security forces have launched a search operation in the area, he said. According to the police the Maoists had made an abortive attempt on Gupta in 2012. During preliminary probe eye-witnesses said that two motor-bike-borne men had fired at him from close and fled, the
Lohardaga superintendent of police Priyadarshi Alok said the dasta (firing squad) of LWE leader Ravindra Ganju set fire to the earthmoving machines which were being used to lay a 30-km-long road connecting Lathehar and Lohardaga districts. In the past too the rebels have attacked and destroyed machinery used to create infrastructre in Jharkhand.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das has condemned the attack said the state government will not tolerate such incidents. “The police are committed to free the state from extremism. The BJP government will not tolerate those who attacked the police in Latehar,” he said expressing grief over the killing of four policemen while addressing a poll meeting at Kunda in Chatra district.
The incident is sorrowful. I assure the families of the martyred policemen that the government stands by them.” The LWE attack in Latehar took place just hours after BJP working president J P Nadda addressed an election meeting in Latehar and a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressed a poll meeting at Manika in the same district.
Das said, “No change can be brought through the barrels of the guns and those challenging the law of the land and democracy will get a befitting reply.”
The government, he said, has prepared a “good” surrender policy in which surrendering rebels are allowed to stay in open jail with their family members. Director-General of Police, K N Choubey, who rushed to Latehar and paid tributes to the slain policemen, said those who attacked and killed the policemen will not be spared.
The Naxals showed their frustration by attacking the police patrol party. Those involved in the crime have been identified … They will not survive,” Choubey said.